Latest Updates on Business and Itasca County Regarding COVID-19

IEDC is here to serve the businesses and individuals in this community by providing clear, concise information to help them thrive or sustain.  In the current climate, information is coming from all sides, and while it is well intended, often can leave one confused about what is available to them. 

Our commitment at IEDC is to always provide the most up to date, accurate information available. 


Mask Up Minnesota

"As of July 25, 2020, per the Governor's Executive Order 20-81, people in Minnesota are required to wear a face covering in all indoor businesses and public indoor spaces, unless alone.  Additionally, workers are required to wear a face covering when working outdoors in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained. Research has shown that use of face coverings can greatly reduce the risk of infection when combined with other prevention efforts such as social distancing and hand hygiene."

For more information & answers to common questions regarding Face Coverings, Click Here. 

Executive Order 20-81  



Returning Safely to Work

A word from the State of Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development:

Governor Tim Walz has put into place a framework for Executive Order 20-40. This order gives all Minnesotans a limited first step in safely returning to work beginning with workers of non-Critical Sector industrial, manufacturing and office-based business that are non-customer facing.

In order to reopen, EO 20-56 requires these businesses to: 

  1. Create and share with their employees a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan that explains the actions they are taking to ensure social distancing and keep workers safe. The Department of Labor and Industry has created a template plan, which is optional for businesses to use as a starting point.
  2. Engage in health screening of employees each day upon arrival.
  3. Continue to use telework whenever possible

For more information about EO 20-56, including what it means for businesses and workers and a number of FAQs and additional information, please  click here. The state will continue to update that site with content and information you need to know.







Take the Test & Share the Link


RAMS – (Range Association of Municipalities & Schools) in partnership with Itasca County, is pleased to announce the kickoff of a historic event for rural broadband expansion. GEO Partners, LLC will be conducting a county wide crowdsourcing broadband speed test over the next several months. At a time when students are required to learn from home via internet connections, when parents are being asked to stay home and in many cases work from home requiring broadband connectivity, there is no better time to conduct this county wide speed test. This initiative will provide statistically validated data that can be used for FCC, USDA or MN State Border to Border grants and will give rural Itasca County a leg up on other regions of the state that rely on inadequate FCC mapping and speed data for grant applications.

In an effort to determine the level of our rural broadband connectivity in Itasca County, we ask that you take 30 seconds to run this simple speed test. Click on the link:

Let the test run and you are finished. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated and this will hopefully lead to better broadband in the near future. Thank you for your time and cooperation. If you are in a location with no broadband service, fill in the address and the map will reflect no service. This is very important information for future broadband projects! Ideally you should run the test 3 times, morning, afternoon, evening. Thanks so much for your cooperation.







Funding Resources

We have put together a unique webpage for funding resources that are available for businesses in Itasca County who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

On this page, you will find the following types of loans:

  • Itasca Small Business Relief Loan 
  • SBA Resources
  • State of Minnesota Small Business Emergency Loan
  • Entrepreneur Fund

Click here for more information



The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act was signed by President Trump to help provide financial stability and relief for individuals and businesses affected by COVID-19. This bill is very broad and we will try and have as much information on this topic as possible as we continue to navigate through these difficult times. 

We have included a Small Business Guide and Small Business Checklist for the CARES Act. Both are great tools for a small business owner to use when looking for more information regarding loans and more! 

  • To access the Small Business Guide to the CARES Act, please click here.
  • To acces the Small Business Checklist from the US Chamber of Commerce, please click here. 



Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

On March 18, 2020, President Donald Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) into law.  Impacted employers must be in compliance with this law by April 2, 2020.  To help explain the provisions and requirements of this law and related topics, Authored by Christopher Beinecke and Dawn Kramer from the Marsh & McLennan Agency.  This document summarizes recent actions taken by both the federal and state governments affecting employer-provided health benefits and provides a user friendly guide on what is required to be in compliance with the FFCRA.

Remaining calm is easier said than done given the relentless stream of news about the spread of novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) across the globe. This article summarizes recent actions taken by both the federal and state governments affecting employer-provided health benefits as well as certain other related issues.

To access the full article, click here. 

  • For information regarding Family First Employee Paid Leave Rights, Click Here.
  • For information regarding Family First Employer Paid Leave Requirements, Click Here.
  • For information regarding Family First Questions & Answers Form, Click Here.





Unemployment Updates

Unemployment benefits are still available for those affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic. However, the additional $600 per week payment cycle will end on July 25th, 2020. For more information, or to apply for unemployment, Click Here. 
There is also an application for unemployment benefits for those who are self-employed or are contract workers. To access the information and directions on how to apply, please click here. 
The team at Audacity HR put together a short and informative video on Unemployment in MN. To access the video, please follow the link: Full Video







Using Social Media to Sell Inventory 

There are so many creative ways to use Social Media as an outlet for curbside pickup sales! It can be as simple as taking pictures of new items and posting them to let your followers know that they are available at any time. All it takes is a quick comment, message or phone call.  We want to help you succeed in all areas of business. If you need any help with social media sales, please let us know! Our Marketing Specialist, Kayla Swanson, is available via email or phone.  Please contact her with any questions at She will set up a phone-call with you to help walk you through your next steps! In the video to the right, Kayla walks you through a way to use Facebook Live for Retail Sales and Curbside Pickup. 

For access to the step-by-step Facebook Live Guide, click here. 



Job Search 

Despite the ever-changing times, there are employers that are still searching for employees to fill critical positions in our economy. We want to make sure that you know where there are resources out there to find a job when the job needs you most. Below are links to help you in your job search. 


Broadband Updates

Internet providers accross our nation have pledged to "Keep Americans Connected." Please refer to the links below regarding internet access for all students that are no longer in school and the workforce who is forced to work remotely. 

We understand that there are more internet providers than what we have listed. We will continue to try and update this information as it becomes available to us. 



Childcare Updates

We know the uncertainty that comes with running a licensed childcare program during scary times like these. However, we want you to know that there are resources available for you. Northland Foundation has set up an Emergency Child Care Grant Program. 

This program, "offers immediate financial support to licensed family- and center-based child care providers caring for children whose parents/guardians are designated as emergency personnel and other essential workers."

Click to Apply

There are three links regarding childcare are constantly changing and we want to be sure that you have access to them at all times. 

For more information regarding childcare, follow the links below:





Resources for Manufacturing

Arrowhead Manufacturers & Fabricators Association have put together a page on their dedicated to resources that they are offering for COVID-19 Resources. General information, webinar links, essential business designation and other links are all included in their page. 

To access this entire page, please click here.

AMFA has been putting together webinars. They are listed on their page, but for your convenience, we wanted to include them here. 



Resources for the Arts

Itasca County is proud of our rich and vibrant arts community. We know that times are hard for everyone right now, including our artists. A list of available resources for artists has been provided to us by the Grand Marais Arts Colony. Please follow the links for more information. 




Additional Links & Resources 

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